Ted’s essays

Lilliputian garden

Bob Cannard always artfully dodged any discussion regarding cosmic effects of planting on the full moon, yet he taught that it was important to Plant something every full moon. Anything, anywhere – in the field, greenhouse, beds, cold frames, somewhere, anywhere, just plant something on the full moon. You can see the full moon coming for weeks. You have plenty of time to set up to plant seeds, starts, transplants. Planting on every moon creates a garden that is always growing, producing, vibrant, rewarding. Today’s full moon coincided with the first day of the Gregorian Calendar… You know, the day with New Year’s resolutions, resolves and promises to self. It also marked a turn for me from working on the […]


Yesterday I found a carcass just outside our fenced yard. Our neighborhood has large populations of deer, turkeys, lions and bears. The prior owners of our house scooted quickly back inside when the little old lady stepped into the breezeway to face a bear and her cub. I added a six-foot chain link fence to encourage predators to stay out of our yard, but I know it is only a deterrent. A mountain lion could jump that with a deer in its mouth. My carcass find yesterday was a reminder. Later in the day I found this big poop. I admit I don’t know scat. But this one seems quite large … larger than a mountain lion. Perhaps a […]

greenhouse design

I enjoy old-school mechanical drawing, drafting and design … with paper, pencil, T-square, triangles and such. Having a simple drawing board, perhaps even a genuine drafting desk has been on my short list every time I end up with a home that has space for it. My new studio may well be the place this happens, but not until we are fully moved in and settled. Meanwhile, I have a lot of projects that really require some planning and drawing to insure they fit together well, have the right materials, and in some cases, communicate to the builder when I am subcontracting the work out. In other words, I have a lot of drawings to do before I can get […]

certified olive oil

I am proud that I do not unquestioningly accept pronouncements from OFFICIALS. But the University of California, Davis olive oil story broadcast all over the lamestream and Internet media sucked me in. I hate to admit I was faked out by the fake story on fake olive oil, 🙁 but am happy to publish the other side. 🙂 Once you read the information on the graphics below, you will distrust Davis too. The good news is that you can trust olive oil that carries the North America Olive Oil Association label. I received the following very polite e-mail about my republishing of the UC Davis story: ———– Hi Ted, I noticed your recent article on olive oil brands falsely […]

Easter Egg Chicken Ranch returns from the ashes

It has been a long time since we had chickens. I always liked having not just a variety of birds, but of egg colors in our daily harvests. Not in a position to have a chicken coop and yard, we found ourselves with a fortunate selection of friends that included one couple nearby with an under-utilized chicken coop. Best of all, they were open to us adding to their flock and sharing in the feed purchases. A match made in heaven. Except the chickens all got together and formed a union that determined our egg ration to be one a day. Not looking like such a good investment after all. Then Bud captured the long-ago escaped rooster and returned him […]

armstrong mower

The 20-year-old Honda mulching mower that has been hard to start for 10 years finally stopped running. My $25 thrift store push mower runs like a watch … as long as my arms, legs, knees, back, heart and lungs can keep pushing it. I may have to do some mechanic-ing in the near future, but for today, the lawn is mowed and I most certainly have had my exercise ration. 1/3rd of the lawn

spring planting

newly planted annuals complimenting perennials a few annuals in the columbine bed future good-neighbor bean patch zucchini may take over entry slope color for left side of entry color for right side of entry […]

growing without pests Day 1

We had a wonderful class. I didn’t know how it would work, if I had enough new information for those attending, and so on. It was the first time I’d used presentation software with a cable to a big screen monitor. I was nervous. It went great. There is a warm dozen-plus gardeners, knowledgeable and open to new information. They are embracing what I call The Bob Cannard method of growing – but what is in reality my evolution of it. Some of the 15 who signed up for the class have conflicts with one or more of the four weekly sessions. They are asking for written materials. That’s a bit tricky as I mostly improvise from my notes and […]

Growing A Healthy Environment

I wrote the following article for the August issue of the Sonoma County Environmental Impact Reporter a couple of decades ago. With a few tiny changes, I re-publish it here as it is still perfectly relevant and accurate. As you read, keep in mind the target market this was aimed at. Your priorities may vary, but the results are both personal and global anyway. – Ted Did Johnnie Appleseed leave a path of wormy apples behind in the frontier? Did the ancient Roman Empire make their wine from rotten grapes? Did roses flourish before we came to dust the aphids? Plant species did not evolve succumbing to insect attacks. What has changed? Obviously, a little time has passed since plants […]